World Bulletin / News Desk
Fifty four people trying to reach Italy from Libya died of thirst after a 15-day voyage in which their rubber boat gradually deflated, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday, citing the sole survivor.
It said the man, an Eritrean national, was rescued by Tunisian coastguards in a state of advanced dehydration clinging to the remains of the boat after being spotted by fishermen the previous night, the agency said.
The man said he left Libya towards the end of June as part of a 55-strong group, half of whom came from Eritrea.
"He told us that there were immediately problems on the boat, that unfortunately they weren't even allowed to take a bottle of water and so once they got lost and the voyage went on, people started to feel unwell and die because of the lack of water," U.N. spokeswoman Laura Boldrini told SkyTG24 television.
"How is it possible that in a sea like the Mediterranean which is full of fishing boats, cargo ships, naval ships, these people were just left to their fate like that," she said.
The survivor, who was taken to a hospital in Zarzis in southeastern Tunisia, told UNHCR officials the craft nearly reached the coast of Italy but was driven back by strong winds and began to deflate after a few days.
As their desperation grew, many drank sea water, which worsened their thirst, he told the officials.
The incident is the latest in a long series of disasters which have killed thousands of migrants attempting to reach southern Europe from North Africa in small, unstable and frequently overcrowded boats.
According to the UNHCR, around 170 people have died this year trying to reach Europe from Libya. Around 1,300 have reached Italy by sea since the beginning of 2012 and another 1,000 people have reached Malta.
Israel has conducted several limited incursions into the strip since August 26, when a cease-fire was reached between Palestinian factions and the self-proclaimed Jewish state
Government supporters demonstrated, waving flags and pictures of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi
The Friday protests were called for by the pro-Morsi National Alliance and Egypt's Salafist Front, a component of the alliance.
The mosque is adjacent to the palace of the emir of Kano, the second highest Islamic authority in the country, although the emir himself, former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, was not present at the time.
Al-Nusra captured 18 Lebanese troops in total, while the ISIL captured seven during clashes with the Lebanese army.
Albanians celebrate founding of the country in 1912 under leadership of national hero, Ismail Qemal Bej.
Abbas arrived in Cairo for a three-day visit in which he will also attend a meeting of the Arab League's peace-monitoring committee
President of Dagestan said he seeks to increase trading volume with Turkey to $1 billion.
Prior to decison virtually all TV stations owned or influenced by ruling party.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Dervis Eroglu becomes first candidate to put his name forward to fight April 2015 election
The trip by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan was the first since the United Arab Emirates along with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in March
The election commission is using about 4,000 voting machines for the presidential and parliamentary vote instead of paper ballots.
It criticised what it called a continued U.S. failure to fully investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment of terrorism suspects held in U.S. custody abroad
The warning by Omar al-Hassi, prime minister of the rival government, came after Thinni's government claimed air strikes on Tripoli's Mitigate airport this week
Countries hiding behind the Cyprus issue need to actually begin working on it, says Turkey’s Chief EU negotiator
Israeli police dispersed a protest in the northern West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum using tear gas and live ammunition, which led to the injury of a foreign protestor, eyewitnesses said.